She has been given the title of 'Magnificent Mary' by the AIBA for no small reason. MC Mary Kom is a five-time world champion and the lone Indian woman boxer in the fray at the London Olympics.
And despite being forced to train without her American coach Charles Atkinson, who has been denied access to the Athletes Village as he does not have the International Boxing Association's 3 Star Certificate for coaches, she is Indias biggest hope to win another medal at the Games.
The mother-of-two, who is also a multiple-time Asian champion, will face Poland's Karolina Michalczuk - a former bantamweight (54kg) world champion - in her pre-quarterfinal bout on Sunday at 1830 hrs (IST).
The 29-year-old who was made the face of International Boxing Association's campaign to get women's boxing included in Olympics, needs to win just two bouts to be assured of a medal and first up for her is Michalczuk - a 32-year-old, who won a bronze medal at the World Championships this year.
Though she has achieved everything she could possibly have in her illustrious career so far, some critics still wants her to prove herself by winning a medal at the Olympics, and Mary Kom is taking it as a big challenge.
"The critics and some of my well wishers still want me to prove myself after 12 years in this sport and after winning five World Championships," Mary Kom said. "I have won my world championships in 46 and 48kg. These weight categories are not in Asian or Olympic Games. Boxing was introduced in Asian Games only in 2010 and there I got a bronze in 51kg. I have no complaints. My critics may not know but I know what I have to do," she added.
The 29-year-old boxer from Manipur, who entered Olympics after making the cut at the World Championships in May earlier this year, though knows the fact that only two wins can fetch her a medal at the mega-event, she is not taking her opponents lightly.
"I am told if I win two bouts I will be winning a medal. I am not taking things lightly. I am focused because like me, my opponents must also have their plans and strategies, let us not forget that," she said.
If Mary Kom wins her opening bout, she will be up against Tunisia's Maroua Rahali, who has got a first-round bye.
(With inputs from PTI)